Touching, like the other five senses, used to be effortless and one of life’s great pleasures. Now, with the threat of coronavirus (COVID-19), your fingers have become a time bomb. The trigger: a once-innocent delivery box or elevator button, which could cary deadly viral particles.
Whatever you do, avoid this list of 40 things you should never touch and keep coronavirus at bay. Then share it with someone you’ve been meaning to get in touch with.
Grocery Store Cart Handles
Consider all the shoppers before you that pushed that shopping cart around the store, grabbing items and touching surfaces. If a shopper was infected and you didn’t sanitize the cart, the virus can easily spread to you. Wipe down the handle with an antiviral wipe or hand sanitizer before use, or wear gloves.
A study found we touch our cellphones an average of 2,617 times a day. If you’ve touched other surfaces or items that were contaminated, your cellphone could be the culprit for spreading COVID-19. Keep it clean with a product like Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, which are recommended by Apple.
If you live in a high rise, you may need to touch elevator buttons numerous times per day to take your dog outside or run other essential errands. With all the other building residents using the same buttons, you increase your chance for infection by touching these buttons without thoroughly washing your hands right after. Use your knuckle or elbow.
The Pump on Hand Sanitizer Bottles
It’s great for public places like doctor’s offices and restaurants to provide big bottles of hand sanitizer. But every person touches the pump with unsanitized hands so it could be a source for infection. Better to use your elbow to dispense.
The Bottom of Your Handbag
The bottom of your purse sees a ton of different surfaces each day and sometimes you have no choice but to set it down on surfaces in public places. It accumulates bacteria, some of which may be related to COVID-19 or other illnesses. Wash it when you get home.
It’s well-known that money is a source of bacteria and one study proved that dollar bills were ridden with harmful bacteria including E. coli and S. aureus. Now, you not only need to worry about these germs but also virus droplets on your money. Use a credit card instead.
While running your essential errands, be mindful of door handles. Many hands have touched these handles before you so you can never be sure if they’re clean or contaminated.
If you’re using a public restroom, make an effort to avoid touching the toilet handle. This handle may have been exposed to the virus by the many people who used the facilities before you.
Research shows that the coronavirus remains infectious for up to 24 hours on cardboard surfaces. If you recently received a package, handle it with care because the virus may still be active and present on its surface. Set up a “package quarantine area” in your house for opening them. Then remove the packaging from your home and wash your hands immediately upon return.
If you use the public facilities, it’s more important than ever to thoroughly wash your hands. But be aware that the sink faucet handles may contain germs and COVID-19 if an infected person used them before you.
Credit Card Machine Buttons
When you’re checking out at the grocery store, you may need to use the credit card machine. Just be sure to wash and sanitize your hands afterward since you never know if a person infected with the virus swiped their card and entered their PIN right before you.
Doctor’s Office Waiting Room Chairs
If you have to visit your doctor during this time, keep in mind infected patients may have been in the waiting room. The waiting room chairs, especially the armrests, may be a source for coronavirus and shouldn’t be touched.
The Tissue Box in Your Doctor’s Office
While waiting in your doctor’s office during these times, it’s important to touch as little as possible and that includes the tissue box in the waiting room. Many other people, especially those who may be sick with the virus, may have already touched this box, leading to potential exposure.
Doctor’s Office Magazines
Bored waiting for your doctor’s appointment? Don’t touch the magazines! People with doctor’s appointments, who are unknowingly infected, may have flipped through these magazines, spreading the virus on the pages. You do not want to get coronavirus from a 1993 communal issue of Tiger Beat magazine.
Doctor’s Office Checkout Counter
Even if you made it through your doctor’s appointment unscathed, be wary of the checkout counter. Many people have touched the surface or set their personal belongings down on it, so it may be contaminated.
Money is dirty and people who are operating ATMs may already have germs on their hands, then touch their bacteria ridden money, then touch the ATM buttons again. If you’re getting cash, be sure to wash and sanitize when you’ve completed your transaction.
Your Credit Cards
Consider the store clerks you’ve handed your credit cards to, as well as the ATM and processing machines they’ve touched. In any one of these instances, your card may have picked up germs from an infected person.
If you’re picking up items at the grocery store and want to save money, shop for coupons and deals online instead of picking up a supermarket flyer. You never know who could have touched that flyer first and put it back before you snagged it.
How many times have you grabbed a bag of chips from the supermarket shelf, changed your mind, and put it back? Many other people have probably done the same thing, some of which may have COVID-19.
Pedestrian Crossing Buttons
Even if you stay six feet away from other pedestrians while enjoying a little outdoor time, you may still not be safe from the virus. Pedestrian crossing buttons are touched by numerous people each day and may be the source of germs and bacteria or the virus. Use your elbow.
The Bathroom Stall Latch
Be cautious in all aspects when using a public bathroom, especially the stall door. The bathroom stall door latch has been touched by countless people before you, one of which may have coronavirus and could easily spread the germs.
Did you set your keys down at the grocery store checkout? Maybe you set them on the counter when speaking to your pharmacist. These surfaces may be riddled with germs, bacteria, or maybe even the coronavirus.
The Coffee Pot Handle at Work
If you’re an essential employee heading to the office every day during this time, be cautious of your office breakroom. The coffee pot handle has been touched by most of your co-workers and if one of them is unknowingly infected, it could spread the virus quickly through the office.
If you’re out in public running essential errands, be careful not to touch handrails if you step onto an escalator. Many hands have touched these handrails and a person infected with the virus may have easily spread germs to the surface.
Grocery Store Conveyor Belts
When people infected with COVID-19 touch food packaging, they may be spreading infectious droplets on these items. They’re placed on the grocery store conveyor belt during checkout, spreading the germs. If you touch this surface, then touch your face, you may be infected, too.
Food Ordering Touch Screens
When you’re taking your food to-go, touch screens for food ordering conveniently eliminate face-to-face contact with workers. However, since many other people touched these screens, they may contain germs, bacteria, and the virus infection.
Your Car’s Air Conditioning Buttons
If you’ve been out in public and touching surfaces, buttons, and handrails, don’t touch the air conditioning buttons in your car before washing and sanitizing. You may just be spreading germs and potential infection to these buttons, which you and your family members are exposed to frequently.
Poles on Buses or Subway Trains
If you must use public transportation to get to work or to run essential errands, avoid holding onto poles in buses and on subway trains. A study tested bacteria on public transit poles and concluded that 12% of the bacteria found were associated with disease. Take a seat instead or wash and sanitize as soon as you reach your destination.
If you’ve ordered food to go, think twice before you grab disposable silverware from the bin. Many other people may have grabbed and put back or touched other silverware wrappers, potentially spreading the virus.
The Kitchen Counter in Your Office’s Breakroom
If you’re still working in an office, be careful about having lunch in your office’s breakroom. The counter and table surfaces may have been touched by infected workers who are unknowingly sick, which can spread the virus to you.
The Bathroom Counter in Public Restrooms
It’s tempting to throw your handbag on the public restroom counter as you wash your hands. But it’s important to avoid this practice since the surface may be covered in germs and bacteria, spreading to your handbag, and forcing you to take them home with you.
Visiting a restaurant to place a to-go order and not sure what you want yet? Don’t grab a menu! Plastic menus are home to bacteria and germs, which may include COVID-19 if an unsuspecting carrier was also browsing the daily specials.
The Public Bathroom Hand Dryer
If you simply had no choice but to use the public restroom on your grocery store trip, washing your hands thoroughly is crucial. But be careful not to touch the hand dryer, if possible. It may have been touched by other people who have yet to complete the handwashing process, spreading germs and bacteria.
If you’re out for a jog or running errands, bring your own safe source of water. When you use a water fountain, you risk touching surfaces with your face and hands that may have already been touched by a person who has coronavirus.
It was very thoughtful of your local restaurant to throw in some condiment packets with your delivery order. But you’re better off using the ketchup and mustard from your fridge. Packets from the restaurant may have been touched by several employees or customers, increasing your risk for exposure to the virus.
Your Reusable Grocery Bags
A study found that your environmentally-friendly reusable shopping bags may have e.Coli and other harmful bacteria lurking in their fabrics. With the contagious COVID-19 virus, these bags may also be the source of infection. Wash them regularly with hot water and laundry detergent to kill the bacteria.
Restaurant Straws and Drink Lids
Think twice before you grab a coffee lid or straw from the bin at a restaurant on your way out the door. Many other people may have reached into that same bin, one of which may have been infected with the virus, putting you at risk. Instead, sip your drink without a lid and straw or bring these items from home.
Squirt Condiment Dispensers
As you wait on your to-go order, skip out on the ketchup, mustard, mayo, and hot sauce dispenser your restaurant has sitting out. The pump handles may contain bacteria and possibly the COVID-19 virus so it’s best to load up on these condiments when you get home.
Your Own Floor
Laying on the floor to play with your dog or do some pushups during a home workout? Don’t touch your floor! If you and your family members ventured out, then walked around your house in the same shoes, your floor may be contaminated. You could have stepped in spit or other germs, which can spread to your home’s floors.
Vending Machine Buttons
If you’re planning to run some errands, bring your own drinks and snacks if you think you’ll need them. Vending machine buttons may have bacteria and if a user was infected with the virus, droplets may still be present on the surface of these buttons.
And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 50 Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.